Tonight, Vanessa Hudgens showed off her killer vocals at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards by opening up the show with a Nicki Minaj rap followed immediately by a rendition of Celine Dion’s hit single, “I’m Your Lady”.
Ludacris explained that as a hazing ritual, Vanessa would have to prove her worth on the stage, which is when she broke out into the Nicki Minaj verse from Kanye’s “Monster”. “Nicki is my rap alter ego,” Hudgens gushed. “I rap like her in my fantasies.”
When she was done, Ludacris admitted he was impressed.
The BBMA’s mark Hudgens’ first hosting gig ever, and she didn’t even meet her co-host until this weekend. Shortly after the two were introduced this weekend, Ludacris told Billboard, “We already have a dynamic going… It’s a natural dynamic — she’s just a naturally good energy person, and those are the people I gel with the most. I think this will be good.”
Hudgens has come a long way since her Disney days in the High School Musial franchise. The singer played the title role of Gigi in the Broadway musical in 2015, and last year, she took the stage as Rizzo in Grease: Live.
Between 2009 and 2014, Hudgens focused mostly on film, stepping away from her music career. In 2009, she played a supporting role in the musical comedy Bandslam followed by Beastly with Mary-Kate Olsen in 2011. That year, she also played a leading role in Spring Breakers with Selena Gomez and James Franco. Most recently, she was cast in the TV comedy series Powerless, based on DC Comics characters. The show premiered to less than ideal ratings, and was cancelled in March by the network.
Earlier this year, Hudgens was part of Shawn Hook’s 2017 single, “Reminding Me”. The two star in the music video together, which you can watch here.
Since 2011, Hudgens has been dating Austin Butler, known for his role in Zoey 101 as James Garrett and James Wilkerson in Switched at Birth.